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On my first trip to Ireland, and by association Europe, I was incredibly disappointed to find that locals were constantly complimenting me on my English and then pressuring me to reveal my “real” country of origin.I hoped things would be better in Paris, as it’s a much more diverse and cosmopolitan city. If in China I was treated unkindly for looking Asian when people wanted me to fulfill their white American stereotype, at least I would still gain a few points for having grown up in America and being fluent in English.Over the last 10 years I've lived in Paris, Italy, Singapore, China (twice), and New Zealand, working in media and building my dream career in the Olympics while traveling to 15-20 countries a year.
I’m constantly getting drive-by shoutings: “Ni hao! ” When I inform the shouter that I’m American, I never get a response even close to resembling an admission of error.
In Paris, I’m assumed to be Asian — and looked down upon simply for that fact.
I’ve had a lady come up to me on the subway, mutter “Chinois” at me sharply like it was a dirty word, then walk away.
” and the always classic, “Go back to where you came from!
” I was furious and shouted in front of all the families enjoying their Sunday brunches, “I’m AMERICAN!